Setting goals for the new year is an age old tradition. Just as old a tradition, however, is not following through with them. It is easy to feel ambitious at the end of December and decide that you are going to radically alter your life, it is much more difficult to maintain this drive and actually do this. I’m here to give you a few ideas of smaller, less ambitious goals that are equally helpful in their own rite. These are holistic habits that are good to implement but low commitment so they do not require a complete reinvention of self. Let us be real, it will take more than a year and a few resolutions to reinvent your life. Maybe just go for a subtle shift of lifestyle and priorities. These will help you to do so.
#1: Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is an Ayurvedic practice in which you swish oil, usually coconut or sesame, around in your mouth for 10-20 minutes in order to collect bacteria before you spit it out. In Ayurveda it is believed that your gut health begins in your mouth, so not only will this practice help your oral hygiene, but it will also benefit your gut health as well.
Ideally, you would start your mornings with oil pulling before you eat or drink anything so you do not swallow any of the bacteria that built up in your mouth overnight (lovely, I know), however, do it when you have the time. If you have rushed mornings than try it in the evening. I like to oil pull while I am in the shower to multitask. It is the most convenient time for me. Do it whenever is best for YOU.
So, just to walk you through the steps, you are going to take a spoonful of coconut or sesame oil and put it in your mouth. It is very important that you do NOT swallow this. Not because the oils are harmful but because the idea is that it will collect bacteria. You do not want to swallow that bacteria. Just swish the oil around in your mouth ,like you would mouth wash, for 10-20 minutes, less time if you have less time, a little more if you have more. Make it work for you. When you are done make sure that you spit the oil into a trash can and not a faucet because oil can buildup over time and clog your drains.
That’s it! Enjoy the benefits of this practice. You can do it every day or a few times a week. Whatever fits into your schedule.
#2: Dry Brushing
Dry brushing actually increased quite a bit in popularity over the past year making it very easy to find inexpensive dry brushes. I found mine for $3 at target but there are also many small businesses which sell them. Here are a few links to Etsy listings for dry brushes.
Dry brushing is good for your circulation and helps your skin to stay healthy. Essentially, what you are going to do is brush your skin with short strokes making sure that you are brushing towards your heart. So, on your legs you’ll brush upwards, on your chest you’ll brush down towards your heart. Spend about 2 minutes per limb as well as your torso, and back if you can reach it.
You do not have to dry brush everyday. Just 3-4 times a week. I like to do it before I shower. You also want to make sure that you clean your dry brush every week or so to avoid bacteria build up. I did not know how to clean my dry brush when I started so I am going to tell you how to so you do not have to be equally confused.
Dry Brush Cleaning;
All you need is a towel or wash clothe, a bowl or dish that you can fit your dry brush in, and some tee tree oil.
Fill your dish with about an inch of warm water then add 10 drops of tee tree oil to it. Now all you need to do is take your dry brush and swirl the bristles around in the water for about a minute. Try to keep the bamboo mostly dry while doing this. Pat the bristles dry with the towel and then let it air dry the rest of the way. That’s it!
I know, I know, you have heard this one before but yoga is SO good for you! You don’t have to do anything crazy. Maybe just 5 or 10 minutes in the morning or before bed. Let your body move and wake up. Loosen those tense muscles. Meditate a little while doing it.
You do not need anything expensive for this. If you don’t have a yoga mat and do not wish to purchase one, just do it on a rug or lay down a blanket. If you go outside you can use a towel or just use this time to ground and touch the earth. If you don’t know where to start, go to YouTube. There are endless, simple exercises.
Here are some links to yoga gear on Etsy-
I really do recommend that you give yoga a shot in the new year. There is a reason people don’t shut up about it.
Grounding is the act of going outside and touching nature with your bare skin. I love to go outside in the morning and walk barefoot in the grass. in the Fall, walking through the crisp leaves is so satisfying. I never feel more alive than this.
Leave your phone inside or turn it off and step outside, not to get anywhere or complete anything specific, just be in nature for nature. We take her for granted so often and none of us visit her enough. Breathe the air in slowly and bask in the sun for a few moments. I like to sit on the grass with a cup of tea and meditate or pray. This time outside impacts my mental state so much. Please do this, especially if you ,like me, struggle with anxiety and depression.
#5: Wellness teas
Herbs and spices can impact your health so incredibly. One of my favorite ways to treat things naturally is with herbal teas. There are so many kinds which you can make or buy. I like to mix my own herbal blends so here are some of my favorites;
This blend of herbs will help you relax and release unwanted tension and anxiety.
You will need to mix equal parts each of –
and Lemon Balm
Once you have mixed this, use about 2 tablespoons in any sort of loose leaf tea infuser and steep your tea for about 5-10 minutes. I like to add honey before I drink it.
This blend is perfect for when you are on your period because it will help with menstrual cramps as well as bloating.
Just mix raspberry leaf and dried ginger together and steep for 5-10 minutes. You can also easily find raspberry leaf tea at the grocery store. It is this ingredient that helps with cramps and pain.
This tea is great to make in the morning to start your day. It supports your digestive health and is great for your skin. This one does require fresh ingredients.
You will need-
A slice of fresh lemon
A small, peeled piece of fresh ginger
Place the lemon and ginger into a cup, boil your water and pour over. Cover the mug with a plate or bowl so the steam does not escape. This traps the essential oils inside so you can get the full benefits from your tea. Once this mixture has steeped for about 10 minutes, remove the cover, squeeze the lemon into the water, and take the ginger out. Just add honey to taste and enjoy.
That’s it! I hope you will implement at least one of these practices into your routine in the New Year. If you have any questions about any of these things, just leave them in the comments. I love replying to you guys!
Namaste and Happy New Year!
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